Happy Birthday Mr. J!!!

Well, he's officially 4 today!! I'm looking back at these pictures of him when he was a baby and I just can't believe he's such a big boy now. It seems like "just yesterday" when he was learning how to walk, but now he's potty trained, feeds himself, has the ability to run away from me, and tells me I'm mean when he doesn't get what he wants. Man, they change fast......

I was blessed from the very beginning with Jackson. When he was born he didn't even cry. I had a C-section so I couldn't' see anything. I new the he was out, but I didn't hear any thing so I started to panic. Then he sneezed. That was the only noise he made. He was always happy. He was a good sleeper, good eater, easy to take care of, and soooo handsom.

I always say that Jackson saved my life. When I had him I wasn't ready to be a mom, but if I hadn't had him who knows where I'd be and what I'd be doing.

People always tell me that Jackson is the sweetest boy that they know. Of course I see the not so sweet moments, but we all have those. Jackson can't go to bed at night without making sure that he get a kiss from both mom and dad. If I forget to read the Book of Mormon to him at bed time or say prayers with him he always reminds me. He always wants to help me cook, or clean. He loves to work with me in the yard whether I'm pulling weeds, raking leaves, or planting flowers. He always finds the cutest moments to say, "mom, I just really love you."

He was so excited to have a little brother. When Payton was just a few weeks old he was asleep, Jackson was in his bedroom playing with his toys, and I was mopping the kitchen floor. Payton woke up and started crying. Before I even had time to react Jackson was running down the hall yelling, "I'm comin' for ya Payton!!!" Even now, even though Jackson and Payton fight sometimes, Jackson still sticks up for him. This isn't the best example of sticking up for him, but it's cute. My friend Amanda was watching my kids while I was at work. Payton was in the high chair eating fishies, then decided to start throwing them. Amanda told him to stop throwing the fishies and apparently Jackson got mad at her for it. I don't know exactly what he said, but this is what was said when we got home. "So Jackson, I heard you were talking sassy to Amanda." "Yeah, she was tellin' MY brother what to do." "Well she's allowed to do that, she's the baby sitter. Payton shouldn't be throwing fishies." "I don't like her tellin' Payton what to do. I told her not to. Me and Daddy are the boss of Payton." "Well, actually Mommy and Daddy are the boss of Payton." "No."

I'm excited to watch him as he grows up. I'm so eager to see the new stages that he goes through and to see what kind of person he becomes. Right now I'm just trying to enjoy this special time I have with him while he's young. Before I know it he be in school all day and I won't have all this quality time with him.


My Little Men

Sometimes I just can't believe how cute they are. It's usually when Payton is screaming at me or when Jackson tells me I'm mean because I won't let him eat one of those massive cartons of Fishies all in one sitting that I forget how cute they are. Seriously though, these boys are little charmers.


In two days my baby Jackson turns 4! It's hard for me to believe. Has it really been four years? I feel so young. How is it possible that I have a 4 year old? He's going to have his first major birthday party!!! He's made so many friends here so I couldn't wait for the chance to have a party for him. I just hope I can handle all those 3 and 4 year olds running around. Just keeping my 4 year old under control is a huge task. It seems like lately I have to keep my eyes on him 24/7. It's like one minute he's there, the next minute he's in the bathroom trying to brush his teeth but in reality the only thing that he's succeeded at doing is get toothpaste all over him and all over the bathroom. He's also trying to get his own drinks so there's always a big puddle of water on the floor every time I walk into the kitchen. I even caught him trying to climb up onto the counter so he could attempt to get up on the fridge to get the Fishies. At that moment I was really grateful that he's afraid of heights really un-coordinated. Sometimes I get really frustrated, but then I have to remind myself to live in the moment more. Unless he's doing something dangerous I think maybe it's better to just laugh and enjoy how cute he is. Obviously he's not my baby anymore, and who knows how much longer he'll be doing all these cute things.


Payton is fond of saying "No." He is seriously a little teaser. He'll walk over to the TV and stand there looking at me pretending like he's going to turn the TV off. He just waits for a reaction from me. As soon as I say "Payton.........." he turns as fast as he can to touch a button. Then I'll say "Do you need a time out?" and he'll sit down real fast and shake his head and say "NO." Then I'll say, "You want some fishies?" "NO." (but then he comes and gets some anyway) "You want some milk?" "NO" (drinks it anyway) "Want some peanut butter?" "NO" (then cries until I give him a spoonful) It's really quite entertaining. This kid has a great sense of humor.



Isn't this just a funny picture???

My children are so incredibly photogenic, but every once in a while we get a real winner!



Elder Russell M. Nelson on motherhood:
"During my professional career as a doctor of medicine, I was occasionally asked why I chose to do that difficult work. I responded with my opinion that the highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother. Since that option was not available to me, I thought that caring for the sick might come close. I tried to care for my patients as compassionately and competently as Mother cared for me."

Julie B. Beck:
"The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places

However, mothers need not fear. when mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children."

The First Presidency:
"Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind."

Payton was up in the middle of the night with a bad cough. I got him out of bed and gave him some cough syrup. I was really tired so I was going to just put him back to bed, but I decided to sit on the couch and hold him for a while. Payton always wants to be moving. Since he learned how to crawl he's wanted to be on the move constantly. Once he got past the newborn stage I wanted to train him to go to sleep on his own so I tried to never let him fall asleep in my arms. I'd forgotten what a great feeling it is to have my little one fall asleep while I was holding him. Last night he snuggled right into me and just held me as tight as he could. While he was falling asleep he just rubbed my shoulder with his chubby little hand. It was nice to sit alone in the quiet of the night and look at his perfectly chubby face while he slept. In the craziness of the day it's easy to forget how lucky we are to be mothers. I'm grateful for those quiet moments with my children when I can remember how blessed I am to be a mother.


Our Little Chef

Jackson is starting to take his Independence seriously!
Usually when we wake up in the morning he just sits on the couch and waits for me to get him his breakfast. This morning I was in my bedroom changing my clothes and I heard some banging in the kitchen. Payton is always getting in the kitchen messing with the pots and pans so I didn't really think anything of it and continued to take my time. I'm not a morning person so it always takes me a while to get moving.
When I got into the kitchen I saw that Jackson had gotten out a pan and the eggs and had already cracked four eggs. He did surprisingly well. He got the eggs into the pan before cracking them open so there wasn't a mess for me to clean up on the counter top. After cracking the eggs he did drop the shells into the pan as well so I did have to spend some time getting all the shells out. I was proud of him for trying to be such a big boy. I let him stir the eggs and it made his day.
Now that he's realized he can do more for himself he's also started climbing up to the sink to get his own water. He also decided he wanted to get himself some cheese. He grabbed a 4 lb. block of un-opened cheese out of the fridge and tried cutting himself a slice with one of his plastic kiddie knives. Obviously he was unsuccessful. It was cute to see him try though.


Injured Soldier

Nate was working out a couple days ago and got a "little" injury. He actually tore his Pec muscle. Can you believe that? I've never heard of anyone tearing their Pec. Anyway, we thought it was a little weird that the bruise was on his arm. These pictures don't even do that honkin' bruise justice.


Nightly Visitor

I stayed up late last night watching Pride and Prejudice. While I was laying on the couch I heard some noise in the backyard so I went to the sliding glass door to do some investigating. I saw a raccoon digging around in Jackson's sand box. He had lifted the lid off and was moving around all of Jackson's toys. So I knocked on the window and said, "what are you doing?" He turned around and looked at me for a minute, then got out of the sandbox and came up the stairs to get a better look at me. He went right up to the window so I crouched down and put my hand up to the window. Then he put his little paw right up on the window where my palm was. Then he just looked into my eyes for a long time. The mother in me wanted to go get him some food because he was so dang cute, but if I'd done that he probably would've attacked me, eaten the food, then brought back his buddies. So I just watched the cute little bugger for a while. He was looking around in my flower beds then all of a sudden he just ran away. I looked around and noticed a skunk had made it's way into my yard. I chose not to make friends with him.



Jackson started pre-school last week! I took a picture of him before we left and another one after we got there. He was so excited to be at school that he couldn't even hold still for the picture. He really likes to be at school and loves his teacher. Her name is Ms. Pat, but he calls her Ms. Pet.
He did have a little breakdown on Thursday. Some of the other moms picked up their children early and when Jackson saw that I wasn't there yet he thought that I wasn't going to come and get him at all. It made me so sad to see him crying there because I remember those feelings from when I was in pre-school and worried that my mom would forget to come and pick me up.


"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just ordinary people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey...delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

Gordon B. Hinkley

My friend had that quote up on her blog and it made me think. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in negative thoughts. I try to always be positive, but sometimes I can't help but think that maybe I'm missing out on something. It's taken me a while to realize that love and marriage doesn't turn out the way it does in the movies. Your own love story never seems great once you've seen those amazing (and fictional) love stories in the movies.

Lately when I talk about myself I say I'm "just a mom." I don't know about the rest of the moms out there, but for me it's easy to feel like I'm not contributing to the world. When the majority of your conversations are with a 3 year old it's easy to think that there are bigger things going on that you aren't a part of because you're "just a mom."

It's nice to get a reality check every once in a while and realize that even though marriage has plenty of ups and downs, and it constantly takes hard work, it's the most worth-while thing we can be doing. And our individual love stories are better than the ones in the movies because ours are real. And what more can you do to contribute to society than by being a loving, positive influence in your childs life?


Monterey Bay Aquarium

The boys and I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium with my friend Amanda and her two kids. The last time we went to the aquarium Jackson was really scared of the sharks and cried his eyes out so we had to take Payton out of the stroller so Jackson could hide in it. This time I made sure he had a friend with him hoping that would help him be strong. He freaked out a little bit at first but ended up having a really great time. They also have a special part of the aquarium just for toddlers so Payton got to get out and play and have a great time. Jackson and his friend Emma were so cute. They walked around holding hands for a while. It was adorable!


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